Each year, a number of laundry projects are completed around the country, resulting in brand-new or retrofitted plants primed and ready to convert soiled goods to clean textiles for the benefit of end-users and customers.
But before one of these plants goes online, there are months, sometimes even years, of effort spent in preparation. As a way to celebrate all the hard work that goes into funding, designing, building and equipping a modern laundry plant, American Laundry News has created this feature coined Designing Success to feature portraits of memorable plant installations.
Here, institutional/OPL, commercial and industrial laundry equipment manufacturers, as well as firms that offer design/build, engineering and mechanical contracting services to the laundry industry, were invited to tout their latest and greatest projects of the past two years.
ARCO/MURRAY NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CO., FOR GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF SOUTH FLORIDA
The Laundry Division of ARCO/Murray National Construction Co. retrofitted an old, dark, dirty warehouse building built in 1957 to accommodate Goodwill Industries of South Florida’s new healthcare plant (previously featured here). Much of the structure had to be gutted and renovated.
Usable space had to be increased to maximize production capacity. The truck dock area at front was filled in to increase the soil and clean dock staging areas, and part of the rail dock area in the rear was filled and a new mechanical room constructed. The remaining dock area was incorporated into the press-to-rail system design as a pit area for loading slings. A new 4-inch-thick floor slab was poured over existing slab and diamond-polished to improve the aesthetic look, increase light reflectivity, and minimize floor maintenance.
Because the entire floor was raised 4 inches, all exterior doors and frames had to be raised, too. Metal panels replaced fiberglass wall panels to improve structural integrity and eliminate potential security issues. A new mechanical room, maintenance rooms, soil/clean separation wall, pack room, soil-side restrooms, and a decontamination room were constructed within the interior. All floor trenches, pits, floor drains and thickened foundations were installed to match up with the new laundry production equipment.
The building’s interior and exterior were painted white and light gray to make it clean and bright, and new high-efficiency interior lighting was installed to increase light levels in the plant, improving the work environment.
A new ventilation system was installed to improve the building airflow, and spot cooling was provided at employee workstations. A new ramp was installed and restrooms constructed to provide proper access for those with disabilities.
All main utilities were upgraded to ensure that water, sewer and electrical capacity would be sufficient now and in the future. The process piping, ductwork and electrical systems were installed and final connections were made to the laundry equipment to ensure each piece could produce at maximum productivity and efficiency. Finally, the office was completely gutted and rebuilt.
“This was not your typical laundry retrofit where you find a nice, new warehouse and install some laundry equipment,” says Ed Kwasnick, director of business development for ARCO/Murray. “It needed a lot of help at all levels. In fact, other companies might have found it easier to demolish the existing structure and build new.”
But Goodwill’s mission is about helping people reclaim their lives through the power of work, and it took the same approach in repurposing this building, he says.